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Meritorious Official Darold D. Henry passes away

By National Wrestling Hall of Fame | Jan. 25, 2022, 4:19 p.m. (ET)

STILLWATER, Okla. – Darold D. Henry, recognized as a Meritorious Official by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1996, passed away on Friday, at the age of 79.

“Darold Henry epitomizes a great life in the sport of wrestling. His success as a wrestler, coach and referee was matched with extraordinary respect from those in the wrestling and sporting communities he impacted in Utah and across the United States,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “On behalf of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Board of Governors and staff, I want to express our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Darold as we mourn his loss with you.”

Memorial visitation will be Friday, January 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, January 29, from 9 to 10:45 a.m. at the Pleasant Grove Stake Center, 275 East 500 South, Pleasant Grove, Utah. Funeral service will be Saturday, January 29, at 11 a.m. at the Pleasant Grove Stake Center. Graveside service will be Saturday, January 29, at 1 p.m. at the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery, 550 North 100 West, Pleasant Grove, Utah.

An outstanding official for nearly 40 years at the high school and college level, Henry worked 25 NCAA Division I championships and mentored hundreds of officials.

Henry was the referee who raised Pat Smith’s hand in 1994 when the Oklahoma State wrestler and Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame became the first-ever four-time NCAA Division I champion.

A high school and junior college champion who wrestled at Brigham Young University, Henry was the architect of the Pleasant Grove High School wrestling dynasty in Pleasant Grove, Utah, which has now won 22 state titles in the sport, fourth most of any school in state history.

Henry won eight state titles in a coaching career that spanned three decades, beginning with the school’s first state title in 1971. Henry followed that up with titles in 1972 and 1974. The state title in 1972 was the last title won in the “A” division when Utah had just two classifications. Henry also won state titles in 1986, 1989, and 1991 through 1993 before handing the reins off to one of his former wrestlers, Tom Phelon, who won four more titles in a row from 1994 to 1997.

In addition to eight championships, Pleasant Grove finished second seven times and third three times. Henry’s teams never finished outside of the Top 10 at the state tournament and he coached 65 individual state champions.

Henry came out of coaching retirement in 1997 to lead the Lone Peak High School wrestling program in its inaugural season, where he turned the reins over to Lyle Mangum the next season.

Henry also served as athletic director at both Pleasant Grove and Lone Peak, and is also known to many in the community as a driver education instructor. And he didn’t just coach wrestling as he also coached football, golf, and track and field.

He received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Utah Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003.

National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum
America’s shrine to the sport of wrestling, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1976 to honor the sport of wrestling, preserve its history, recognize extraordinary individual achievements, and inspire future generations. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame has museums in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Waterloo, Iowa. The Stillwater, Oklahoma, location reopened in June 2016 following a $3.8 million renovation and now features interactive exhibits and electronic kiosks, as well as the opportunity to watch NCAA Championship matches from the 1930s to present day. It also has the John T. Vaughan Hall of Honors where the greatest names in wrestling are recognized, including iconic granite plaques presented to Distinguished Members since the Hall of Fame opened in 1976. The museum has the largest collection of wrestling artifacts and memorabilia in the world, including the most collegiate and Olympic wrestling uniforms. Wrestling truly is for everyone and the diversity and accessibility of the sport continues to be highlighted through exhibits featuring females, African-Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latino Americans. There is also a library featuring historical documents, including NCAA guides and results, as well as books on the sport. For more information about the Hall of Fame, please visit www.NWHOF.org.